CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. – SugarCreek executives and Indiana government leaders officially dedicated SugarCreek’s newly expanded manufacturing plant in Cambridge City, Indiana, on Sept. 22. The 418,000-sq.-ft. facility features the largest sous vide line in North America.

SugarCreek’s Chairman and CEO John Richardson purchased the existing 77,000-sq.-ft plant in 2012. He describes the new facility as a “game-changer” both for his company and for the industry. The sous vide method of cooking, commonly used in Europe, involves vacuum-packing food items and slowly cooking them a circulated water bath. As the largest sous vide plant in North America, Richardson says SugarCreek will be taking this cooking method to a new level.

Sous vide production began at the Cambridge City facility (CCI) in late 2015 and was profiled in a MEAT+POULTRY cover story just after operations began. Additional processing lines have been added over the past year.

In addition to the sous vide line, the plant will feature three high-volume cooking halls that will produce sausage patties, meatballs and other proteins. Previously known for its bacon production, SugarCreek is using a variety of cooking methods to become a more diversified food manufacturer, Richardson says.

“Bacon has been, and will always be, our legacy. But my motto is that ‘good enough is not good enough’ and CCI represents an important part of our future,” Richardson said. “We have made a huge investment to expand our capabilities, allowing us the flexibility to co-develop new products and menu items for brands across all channels of trade.”

After the CCI facility is fully functional the plant is expected to employ 500 workers.

“2016 marks the 50th anniversary of SugarCreek, and we are thrilled to celebrate in such a big way with the dedication of CCI,” Richardson said. “We look forward to starting our next 50 years with new product offerings.”

SugarCreek employs 1,900 people in six manufacturing facilities